So when does being kind and giving to others, turn into giving even when it might be to your own detriment? Across cultures and certainly in America we’ve been socialized to give to those in need, share with our brothers and sisters and donate to charitable organizations. Perhaps we’ve even chosen to work for non-profits or work for organizations that fund lesser organizations needing funding.
But what about when you realize that you’ve been sacrificing for your family members or spouse or children for years and it doesn’t seem to stop? Drama after drama or one financial crisis after another. Think of all that you’ve given, like your time, money and energy. All you feel now is exhausted, stressed out and burned out.
One very important exception: It might even be a cultural expectation that you are the adult child and you care for elderly parents or younger adult siblings who are not as successful as you. Many of you report that even though it is the country of origin cultural expectation that threads along the family line from generation to generation, you still don’t like it.
Or, perhaps you married into that culture and your spouse tells you, “This is how it is done in our family.” If you don’t agree and you have no power in this matter, the goal is for you not to drown in resentment. If you cannot express your discontent to your spouse or modify the arrangement to something more agreeable, it is vital that you strive to accept it without remorse or frustration. If not, it will be a toxic overtone to your intimate family partnerships which can permeate your psyche and your body.
Even if you have kids, you still have to take care of yourself so that you can be a better parent and at the same time be a role model to them. The kids are watching you and learning from you. One of the best things to teach your kids is how to take care of yourself. It is a life lesson that lasts a lifetime! Can you even remember a time when you didn’t have someone in your life that needed that extra bit of help? It’s hard because you believe in giving and you were taught that it’s what you’re supposed to do. You’ve been doing it for so long, you don’t even know how to make a change.
At first, it feels good to have people who need you and who you’ve really helped. Whether it’s family or friends, it’s just natural to offer assistance. Months and years pass and then it just kind of takes over because it’s what you do best. In later years, everything seems to sour and now you feel more guilty than comfortable. It seems out of balance. You compulsively give and they take. You feel stretched and tense like a tightrope.
Over time, it becomes more of a habit. You’re like everyone’s counselor. It feels good for a minute until you realize that you help everyone but yourself! You vacillate between feeling numb like a robot unable to access your feelings; other times when you’re alone, you cry. Huffington Post Blogger, Paul Dunion reported: Excessive giving tends to breed anger, bitterness, and resentment, as we feel deprived of acknowledgment, consideration, and love.
Your intimate relationships suffer. Your husband says you never spend time with him anymore. Your kids have to share you with their friends and your mother is always needing something from you. Life is upside down and even though you do the giving, it seems like you’re not in control anymore.
Everything is about balance. Work life and personal life. When life gets out of balance for whatever reason and it goes on and on, then everything gets skewed. Life gets more stressed, you feel more irritated and upset. You’re tired all the time. The hardest part is figuring out how to make a change and get back to feeling like yourself again.
How to get back on track:
#1—Start feeling again. Count as you take a breath, then count sequentially up to 9 breaths. Listen to your count as you say the number, and then listen as you inhale and exhale. You just completed a one-minute meditation!
#2—Focus on your body. Can you identify what you are feeling in your body?
Can you feel where your body is tight or hurting or itching? Just notice your bodily sensation. This is important for you to pay attention to what your body is feeling. Notice your body, touch the part that hurts. If you are alone, say out loud “My chest feels heavy.”
#3—Ask yourself what emotion you are feeling in that moment? Can you name your feeling? Is it positive or is it negative? Are you sad, mad, feeling bad or glad? Do you feel overwhelmed or just empty? Naming your feeling can be a huge step in you reclaiming your own power back!
Three simple steps. Three powerful steps. Mindfulness means paying attention to yourself. Each step is a building block of you being present in the moment. Keep your mind blank. Stop the constant chatter in your head about what you need to get done and why or when. Just breathe and listen and feel.
It is time for you to give back to yourself. It is time for you to be a priority without feeling selfish about it. Many believe that doing for yourself is wrong and selfish.
Actually, that is the most furthest from the truth. Your Core Energy within your body expects to be recharged and revitalized, just like when you tune up your car. All day long people complain of being sleep deprived, stressed out, not enough time in the day, gaining weight, feeling tired and depleted.
This is your chance to reclaim your power back over these negative feelings and make yourself a priority! Do it right now, breathe and listen to your breath. Now you have begun a new path towards feeling more positive and having more energy. All it takes is one minute!